YouTube is stepping efforts to contain medical misinformation by removing unverified content about vaccines for Covid-19 Photo: AFP/File
tech

YouTube to remove COVID vaccine misinformation

25 Comments
By NICOLAS ASFOURI

YouTube said Wednesday it would take down content which contradicts expert consensus about COVID-19 vaccines, updating its policies on misinformation about the pandemic.

The move is the latest by online platforms struggling to contain the spread of hoaxes and false information about the coronavirus and treatments.

YouTube, the Google-owned video-sharing service, said it was expanding its medical misinformation policy "to remove claims about COVID-19 vaccinations that contradict expert consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organization."

YouTube said it was acting in anticipation of the release of one or more vaccines, and skepticism among many people about their usefulness.

It said content to be removed would include claims that a vaccine could kill people or cause infertility, or that microchips will be implanted in people who receive a vaccination.

YouTube said it has removed more than 200,000 videos with "dangerous or misleading" COVID-19 information since February, including unverified claims about transmission or unsubstantiated treatments.

In a related action, Facebook on Tuesday announced a ban on ads that discourage people from getting vaccinated, as part of its efforts to contain misinformation.

The tech giants have regularly been accused of allowing anti-vaccine movements to flourish.

© 2020 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

25 Comments
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That means they should also remove all of the media-dispersed misinformation/disinformation.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

That means they should also remove all of the media-dispersed misinformation/disinformation.

If/when it's mis and/or dis-information, they will.

I know that's scary to those prone to believing any conspiracy theory.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

The worst thing about censorship is #####

3 ( +4 / -1 )

YouTube, the Google-owned video-sharing service, said it was expanding its medical misinformation policy "to remove claims about COVID-19 vaccinations that contradict expert consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organization."

As if the WHO is a reliable source of information.

No problem, YouTube, we'll just go on bitchute and other videos sites that don't censor.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Does this mean they'll be going after any YouTuber who refers to covid as the CCP virus? Pretty sure YouTube is demonetising those channels anyway

4 ( +4 / -0 )

As if the WHO is a reliable source of information.

YouTube is taking responsibility for their part in causing ridiculous ideas like the one above to have become mainstream.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

You can be against vaccines, or "against" (as in actually in favor, but criticizing specific elements to improve their safety and efficacy) without worrying about being censored. The same applies for every other thing that health authorities recommend.

The secret is in not repeating proven lies nor wild imaginations without proof that endanger the health of others.

You think a recommendation is not based on science? there is nothing to censor on you presenting the scientific evidence that makes you think that. But if your argument is that a hidden conspiracy is using it to genetically manipulate the minds of the world population that is something that a company doesn't have any responsibility in protecting.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

So the real experts deciding what’s right or wrong are working with YT ? Didn’t know that... Honor them, give them Nobel prizes, let billions rain over them, the saviors of mankind... lol

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

So the real experts deciding what’s right or wrong are working with YT ? 

Why would that be necessary? a very important part of scientific research is to make the knowledge available for anybody willing to invest the time to inform themselves. Youtube simply have to check with valid sources if something said is true or not, there is no need for any extra effort to be made by the experts for this.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

As if the WHO is a reliable source of information.

You’re a bit behind the times. The WHO has been redeemed by the right wing. There is a half-quote from an envoy to the WHO that lockdowns don’t work going around. The WHO hasn’t mentioned injecting disinfectant yet but they could really get the rightists on side with this.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Great, so Youtube will soon become as irrelevant as CNN et al.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Brown Shirts rise again!

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Lol, most people under 25 long ago gave up on Youtube and increasingly go to Bitchute et al. to post/view videos on controversial topics. Youtube is basically cat videos and make up infomercials at this point.

Pro tip: Unless you cathedral-dwelling Prometheans want to shut down the whole internet, this pattern will keep on repeating.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Lol, most people under 25 long ago gave up on Youtube

Who cares? They'll change their minds I've they grow up.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Who cares? They'll change their minds I've they grow up.

Once they grow up, I meant.

But I'm glad there is more competition in this space, but I can see that Bitchute seems to be principally a venue for far right conspiracy videos. Here is a few video titles from the homepage:

CIA whistleblower claims Biden had role in Seal team death

Watch Joe Biden RUN from reporters and NOT follow the science....

Bill Gates taunts his victims

Globalist leaders admit lockdown isn't about health after all

David Irving - lack of evidence at Auschwitz

Why commie n***er MLK is a fraud

So hardly surprising that a couple of the usual right wing apologists are promoting this video site today. (I say a "couple" but it is hard to keep track of all the right wing sock puppet accounts on YouTube these days)

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I know that's scary to those prone to believing any conspiracy theory.

And scary to those who believe free speech and unrestricted access to various sources of information are essential to a free society.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

And scary to those who believe free speech and unrestricted access to various sources of misinformation are essential to a free society.

Corrected for you.

Unfortunately people are not capable of making up their own minds on specialist matters. This is why those who spread misinformation love the freedom of speech angle, because a non-specialist is incapable of determining what is correct. It is easy to spread lies through an authoritative video using pseudoscientific phrases and so capture people who are politically leaning in that direction, but lack any technical ability to determine what is true and what is deliberate misinformation.

COVID-19 misinformation is a classic case, along with vaccination and climate change.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Science 1

Antivaxx losers 0

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Unfortunately people are not capable of making up their own minds on specialist matters. 

Speak for yourself. I am fine if you need a guardian to protect you and tell you what to believe. North Korea does that for all of its citizens. You might be happy there.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Speak for yourself. I am fine if you need a guardian to protect you and tell you what to believe. North Korea does that for all of its citizens. You might be happy there.

I tire of this kind of fallacious reasoning very quickly these days.

Unfortunately if one is incapable to understanding the complexities of virology (and few of us do), then we are wise to listen to experts, and not seek out quacks spouting pseudoscience.

Look at where this foolishness has led us with vaccines, QAnon and child abuse fantasies involving pizza restaurants.

Thankfully there is a home for conspiracy theory nutjobs and the far right - it appears to be called Bitchute, which I hear about the first time today from two different posters, where you can watch videos about "the n***er" Martin Luther King if that is the sort of thing that floats your boat. This leaves YouTube as a safe venue.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It’s amazing and downright scary how so many people are willing to accept censorship and furthermore restrict their own access to multiple points of view. Well I guess you all will get what you want but don’t complain in the future when you are censored.

As a liberal in the classical sense I find this appalling.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@ah-so: As an engineer and scientist should I ask you or some other gatekeeper for “approved” information sources?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Great, so Youtube will soon become as irrelevant as CNN et al.

Yes. You’re wasting your time there, and don’t need to go there anymore. Make sure to get the message out to all your extremist buddies.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@ah-so: As an engineer and scientist should I ask you or some other gatekeeper for “approved” information sources?

You're the only one bringing up "approved sources". YouTube is not requiring sources to be approved. They're only proposing removing disproved sources.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

When the mainstream media, YT and social media included, stops acting as a shill for the Democratic party in the US maybe... just maybe... they'll get their credibility back... but I doubt it.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

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